National health care reform
is expected to save Maryland $829 million over the next decade and
provide coverage to nearly 350,000 people — reducing the number of
uninsured in the state by half, according to a report released by state
New federal regulations were issued that will guarantee affordable preventive care services for millions of Americans. The new interim final regulations
specify that new health insurance policies beginning on or after
September 23, 2010, must include preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, as well as preventive services recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
in their coverage plans. In addition, health plans will be prohibited
from charging co-payments, co-insurance or deductibles for these
services when they are delivered by network providers.
Marking the 90 day anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama used the occasion to announce the implementation of a Patient’s Bill of Rights. After meeting privately with health insurance CEOs and state insurance commissioners, the White House sent a signal to insurers and to the public that the President intends to monitor how the insurance industry responds to the law’s implementation. In warning industry executives to refrain from using the law as an opportunity to boost unjustifiable rate increases, the Administration unveiled new regulations that will govern how new consumer protection provisions are implemented.
The federal health reform law is only the starting point for achieving
health care access for all Americans. Many states are already moving
forward, not only on implementing the basic provisions of the Affordable
Care Act in their states, but are also planning how to build on its
framework to further expand coverage and rein in costs for their
residents. The following are a few models of implementation and
comprehensive reform underway.
Highlighting the outrage at insurance industry abuses pushing Congress
towards a final decision on federal health care reform, state
legislators continue to advance their own insurance reforms, even as
they lay the groundwork for implementing the policies that will emerge
in a federal bill.